Battery Recycling-Get Charged About It!
By Margarette Tustle
Don’t throw those old batteries in the trash! Battery recycling is something that we can all do to protect the environment and ourselves. Battery recycling is such an important issue that in 1996, the United States Congress passed the Battery Act, which details how manufacturers and consumers can do a better job of disposing of and reusing old batteries.
What Will Happen If We Do Not Practice Battery Recycling?
Old batteries pose several risks to the environment including:
• Polluting lakes and streams when they are burned and the metals vaporize into the air.
• Heavy metals that leach into the soil in landfills.
• Lead that can potentially cause harmful conditions for humans and animals.
• Acids can leak out that are corrosive and can burn eyes and skin.
What Does Battery Recycling Entail?
When you buy a new battery, most likely the place where you buy it will have a place to dispose of your old battery, and you may also be charged a small fee for recycling. If not, then you can contact your city or town’s municipal waste department and find out if they have a program for recycling. If neither of these is an option, you can go online to find the nearest recycling center that takes batteries.
The government has set up a battery recycling system for car batteries because they contain a large amount of both acid and lead. Rechargeable batteries also have a battery recycling option. These are made of nickel cadmium, which leak extremely dangerous substances into the environment when they are disposed of improperly. The lithium battery that may be powering your laptop can also be recycled. It does not harm the environment when disposed of, but it does contain components that are easy to use in battery recycling.
What Is The RBRC?
The RBRC is the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, which is a non-profit organization that provides information and services to companies and individuals about recycling rechargeable batteries.
Educate Yourself About Battery Recycling!
As a result of the Battery Act, manufacturers are required to label all batteries with information about proper disposal and also recycling information. Many companies, such as cell phone companies even offer disposal and recycling information on their sites and may offer special incentives to customers who utilize their battery recycling programs. You can also check your community resources online or by calling your local waste department.
The government has given us the opportunity to do something very simple, yet very important for our environment. Our responsibility as citizens of the planet Earth is to take those steps which we can to protect it for ourselves and for the future. It is not just about paper, plastic, and aluminum cans any more, it is about safety and life.